276.Iodine deficiency: Bangladesh is affected by iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). Due to universal salt iodization programme, the goitre prevalence decreased from 47 percent in 1993 to 18 percent in 1999, and biological iodine deficiency decreased from 69 percent in 1993 to 43 percent in 1999 (National IDD Surveys, 1993 and 1999). Household consumption of iodized salt has increased from 14 percent in 1995 to 84 percent in 2006 (MICS 2006).
277.Use of Iodized Salt was lowest in Chittagong Division (77.7 percent) and highest in Khulna Division (93.6 percent) and there is 10 percent variation between rural and urban areas. However, the difference between richest and poorest households in terms of consumption of iodized salt is 20 percent.
278.Iron deficiency anaemia: Iron deficiency during pregnancy is a common problem Data from anaemia surveys in urban areas, the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the rest of rural Bangladesh (BBS/UNICEF, 2004), indicated that the prevalence of anaemia is a public health problem in preschool children (49 percent) and pregnant women (46 percent), and a moderate public health problem in non-pregnant women (33 percent) and adolescents (28 percent). The government arranges distribution of iron tablets through regular health programme.
GoB measures in promoting nutrition
279.The Government is committed to achieving food security and nutrition for all. This is reflected in its policies and plans, including the National Agricultural Policy (1999), Comprehensive Food Security Policy (2000) and National Food Policy (2006), all address issues of availability, access and utilisation. Other key Government commitments related to food and nutrition include the NSAPR (2004/05 - 2007/08) and the HNPSP 2003-10.
280.The Government has been implementing the National Nutrition Programme (NNP). This is the successor to the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP), which was operated by the MoHFW from 1995 to 2003. National level services include micronutrient supplementation (iron-foliate and vitamin A), universal salt iodization, and breastfeeding promotion. The NNP also has a Area-Based Community Nutrition (ABCN) services for children under two years, pregnant and lactating women, newly wed couples, and adolescent girls and a Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). ABCN includes growth-monitoring, promotion of supplementary feeding for malnourished and stunted children, special care for LBW infants, micronutrient supplementation, and referral to health services. The BCC component covered all 23,246 nutrition centres in 105 Upazilas with 20 communication materials to disseminate information on nutrition and related issues to pregnant and lactating women, newly wed couples and adolescent girls.
281.Bangladesh has a culture of breastfeeding since long. However, many aspects of infant and young child feeding are far from optimal. In order to improve the feeding practices particularly in terms of timing and duration some initiatives have been undertaken. An NGO named Bangladesh Breast Feeding Foundation (BFF) has been working in enhancing and popularizing breast milk in the country. Government and NGOs interventions in the recent years are working